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Old October 3 2008, 04:20 AM   #1
Good Will Riker
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Location: Southern California, USA
The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on DVD

So, when I first heard that Jon Favreau wanted to have "The Mandarin" as the primary villain for the next Iron Man film, I did some research on-line and this is what I found:

"The Mandarin" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_(comics)

Dude, how is Favreau going to be able to transform this disgusting, racially-insensitive yellow peril fu manchu caricature into a primary adversary to Tony Stark that the movie audience will be able to take seriously?

In all honesty, if the portrayal of this villain is a lot closer to the more "intelliegent and respectable" portrayal of Shiwan Khan by actor John Lone in 1994's The Shadow, that I can buy...but, if the depiction of said character is anything remotely resembling Dr. Daka from the Batman serials or Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, you know there is going to be protests among many Asian American groups as well as the people who live all across Asia!

Also, I hope they can cast a more dramatic Asian/Asian American actor in the role of the Mandarin, rather than go the chopsocky "Jet Li route" as they did with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

The jury is still out on whether or not I want to purchase Iron Man on DVD due to the yellow peril origins of that Mandarin character. Why invest more money into a franchise that may potentially misrepresent "my people" in the wrong "usually stereotypical Hollywood" way?

P.S.: And, please Jon Favreau, I admired your work in Swingers, but please have the good sense of leaving this sack of shit out of your next Iron Man film! -

"Fin Fang Foom" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fin_Fang_Foom

Last edited by Good Will Riker; October 3 2008 at 04:36 AM. Reason: The yellow peril origins of the Mandarin and Fin Fang Foom are morally, culturally, racially, and stereotypically offensive!!
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Old October 3 2008, 04:27 AM   #2
Morpheus 02
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Umm...does your Power Rangers avatar help Asian-American stereotypes?
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Old October 3 2008, 04:46 AM   #3
Good Will Riker
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

^^^^

This will be the first time in Hollywood history that a tentpole summer blockbuster film featuring an Asian/Asian American actor cast as the primary villain have the same status as any of the traditionally caucasian actors cast as the Batman villains and James Bond villains in these kinds of high-profile studio cinematic properties, respectively.

They better get it right.
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Old October 3 2008, 04:57 AM   #4
Dick Whitman
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

You are making yourself look foolish. The seeds for the Mandarin were already set up in the first film. Completely avoiding what you are concerned about. They have changed the character totally...
Which will likely be your next complaint.
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Old October 3 2008, 05:01 AM   #5
Trent Roman
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Favreau has mentioned in some interviews about the second film that he was relunctant about using Mandarin because he is aware of the difficulties involved in tackling such a complete stereotype of a character. So while I have no idea what the finished product will be, rest assured that the director shares your concerns to a certain degree. The Mandarin will have to be updated for 21st century standards, not just because he is a walking ethnic slur, but also because his origins (alien rings that give him magical powers) don't fit the universe Favreau created. My own feeling is that the Mandarin will be remodeled to resemble Tony Stark himself, i.e. a business tycoon with great technological acumen (from which he creates his rings); more of a James Bond-ish villain.

Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
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Old October 3 2008, 05:02 AM   #6
Good Will Riker
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
You are making yourself look foolish. The seeds for the Mandarin were already set up in the first film. Completely avoiding what you are concerned about. They have changed the character totally...
Which will likely be your next complaint.
As this sequel to the first Iron Man film will come out at an opportune time when China is emerging as a superpower while the might of the American economy is going down, it will be interesting how 2 industrial giants of the East (The Mandarin) and the West (Tony Stark) will battle it out for supremacy and order.

If they re-cast the Mandarin with a caucasian actor, the character will lose some of his edge and flavor like what happened with Ming the Merciless in the recently canceled "Flash Gordon" Sci-Fi TV series. But, please give a lot of serious thought into portraying the character of the Mandarin with a level of dignity and respect.
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Old October 3 2008, 05:05 AM   #7
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

The character has its roots in Communism. Please try to understand his historical context. Also, Favreau has talked a lot recently about how he wants to work Mandarin into the next film(s).

if Batman Begins can take the ridiculous caricature of Ra's al Ghul and transform him into a way less ridiculous and respectable tech-villain, then Iron Man2 can certainly do that.
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Old October 3 2008, 06:06 AM   #8
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

I just passed on Good Will Riker's concerns to Jon Favreau, and he's agreed to make The Mandarin a white straight Mormon who operates in the world of black market oranges.
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Old October 3 2008, 06:21 AM   #9
Dick Whitman
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Maybe Robert Downey Jr should play the part in makeup...

Or maybe not!
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Old October 3 2008, 06:53 AM   #10
Good Will Riker
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Aragorn wrote: View Post
I just passed on Good Will Riker's concerns to Jon Favreau, and he's agreed to make The Mandarin a white straight Mormon who operates in the world of black market oranges.
If you cross Mitt Romney with Marlon Brando, I say you have a winner there!
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Old October 3 2008, 07:34 AM   #11
Saul
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

I think the world has moved on from that.

It's more likely the mandarin will be from the Middle East.
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Old October 3 2008, 07:43 AM   #12
Hermiod
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

I'm starting to think GWR hasn't actually seen the film.



Of course, it would have been much better if the Mandarin had been portrayed as a green-skinned, pointed eared alien like in the 90's cartoon. (As Ming the Merciless and Dr. No were as well.)
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Old October 3 2008, 08:02 AM   #13
Good Will Riker
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Hermiod wrote: View Post
I'm starting to think GWR hasn't actually seen the film.



Of course, it would have been much better if the Mandarin had been portrayed as a green-skinned, pointed eared alien like in the 90's cartoon. (As Ming the Merciless and Dr. No were as well.)
I saw the film when it came out in May 2008. I liked it. I even planned to purchase it on DVD.

Then...I asked myself "Why isn't there one single Asian American character in this entire film? Not one single Asian face in this entire summer blockbuster film?" Also, I heard rumors about this Mandarin character that Jon Favreau wanted to include in the sequel, and started doing some research on-line.

After coming across what I found out about the Mandarin in my research, I concluded tonight "Nope, I am not going to be purchasing this DVD. No way I am going to be spending about $25.00 for an ultimate edition DVD that I may endup selling-off if Iron Man 2's Mandarin turnsout to be a disappointment."
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Old October 3 2008, 08:12 AM   #14
Hermiod
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

^So, your argument is that you won't watch any American production without an Asian-American in it, correct ?

According to the CIA World Factbook, Asian-Americans made up 4.43% of the population of the United States. If every film had to have at least one, that would make for a disproportionately high number of Asian-American characters in US film and television, well over 4%.
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Old October 3 2008, 08:51 AM   #15
A Clockwork Lim
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Re: The Mandarin- the primary reason why I won't be buying Iron Man on

Racism arguments aside, I'm pretty sure we've already seen the "Mandarin" in the show already. And it wasn't the namely guy who gloomed and stared a lot.

There's got to be a reason why we never saw Yinsen actually shoot anyone as he went screaming down the corridor. Or why we just saw him stop when he came to the large group of Ten Rings. Or why there was a cut scene and then you just see him laying on top of bags "looking" wounded. Or that he would have survived the assault of that entire group of heavily armed Ten Rings terrorists. Or why they would have just had a highly trained doctor just sitting around in a cell. Or that he was there to help build the armor and learn how to make the mini-Arc reactor. (And yes, I'm aware of the character and how he's protrayed in the comics.)

Since the original poster didn't even bother to realize that they're obviously reworking the entire concept as made blatantly obvious by the Ten Rings, that whole bit of this discussion is irrelevant to me. Just an excuse to bitch for no real reason at all.
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